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FOCUS Community

During the first-year, FOCUS students pursue and develop skills related to Connection, Achievement, Respect, and Exploration. Students in FOCUS participate in discussions and activities that assist each individual in building connections, reaching achievements, expressing respect, and conducting exploration in the personal, academic and professional realms. This personal development is necessary for all University-educated graduates to fulfill their goals and find success in their chosen fields.

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Students in the GAINES Community explore the role of interdependence in their personal and academic success during an In-FOCUS Session during Fall 2015.


FOCUS Learning Outcomes: C.A.R.E.
Connection...Students will

  • Build strong, supportive connections with peers, faculty, and staff
  • Find and utilize a mentor or guide to assist and support throughout the college experience
  • Become an active, involved member of the TAMU community
  • Collaborate with peers to achieve personal and group success/goals

Achievement...Students will

  • Identify and implement characteristics and skills of a successful college student
  • Utilize resources for personal and academic growth
  • Increase self-management skills and take purposeful action in pursuit of goals

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FOCUS Students gathering goodies and information from the Resource Fair at FOCUS Orientation, Fall 2015.

Respect...Students will

  • Accept responsibility and ownership of actions and decisions
  • Demonstrate respect for people, ideas, culture, and perspectives that are similar or different than one’s ideologies
  • Demonstrate effective communication by giving and receiving constructive feedback, utilizing appropriate means of communication for the intended audience, and articulating sound judgment

Exploration...Students will

  • Clarify educational and personal goals
  • Identify and define personal strengths, values, beliefs and areas for improvement, and take ownership of individual actions
  • Participate in various FOCUS and on-campus activities, events, and opportunities designed to strengthen cultural awareness and appreciation

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FOCUS Students enjoying the Halloween Bash at Spirit Ice, Fall 2015.

Relationship to Regents' Scholarship
In support of the colleges and undergraduate students, FOCUS engages first-year Regents’ Scholarship students from specific colleges in a community that enhances their learning experience and furthers their life-long learning and success at Texas A&M University. Colleges select FOCUS as an approved first-year success program to responsibly meet their students’ first-year Regents’ Scholarship* requirements to participate in a full-year success program.

*The Regents' Scholarship is awarded to first-generation low-income students as a multi-year scholarship. To maintain eligibility during the first year, Regents' Scholars must attend the Regents' Scholars Orientation in August, participate in a designated full-year success program, live on campus, and attend the Regents' Scholarship Spring Banquet.


What’s Included for 2016-2017?
This coming academic year, FOCUS participants will 

  • register for a FOCUS section of UGST 181 (S/U, 0 credit hours, no fees) each semester (the weekly In-FOCUS Session)
  • live as a community in the FOCUS Living Learning Program in Moses Hall
  • register for a small 25-student section of a FOCUS core curriculum course if applicable
  • have Community Leaders in each community to serve as transition resources
  • take advantage of in-hall programs provided by the FOCUS LLP
  • participate in a FOCUS Kick-Off and Orientation and Gig 'Em Week Welcome Events prior to fall semester
  • seek out year-round Professional Staff for troubleshooting as needed
  • participate in monthly Large Community meetings and optional weekly study halls
  • ​meet one-on-one with a Community Leader twice/semester
  • ​stay up to date on events, transition issues, and policies with a FOCUS News e-newsletter
  • By additional application processes, participate in activities designated for the College of Medicine Huang Pre-Med Scholars, the Courtney CVM Scholars, or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ANSC track.

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The GATES Community playing a communication game during the lunch break of FOCUS Orientation, Fall 2015.

Communities
The name given to each section denotes a community. These names tell stories about learning at Texas A&M University. Each community meets weekly for an In-FOCUS Session (UGST 181). Each community has a Community Leader team that teaches the UGST 181 under the guidance of a staff coordinator. Each community gives input on which topics will be included for them the next semester.